The 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

 by Jason Tarasi

The Road Runner line was first produced by Plymouth in 1968 with a back-to-basics strategic approach aimed at making muscle cars more affordable for the average Joe rather than having them remain fully-loaded, luxury cars that few could afford. As a result, Road Runners were targeted to a different market. Even though they were downgraded some compared to other muscle cars of their time, the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner made record sales for Plymouth and became one of the top-five muscle cars in existence in terms of best sellers.

1969 Plymouth Road Runner 440 Six-BBL

1969 Plymouth Road Runner 440 Six-BBL

If I had to describe Plymouth's 1968 release of the Road Runner in one word, that word would be -- unique. In fact, the '68 model was incredibly unique because its body design was based on the luxury Belvedere with a pillared coupe style. It actually sported a cartoon character -- Warner Brother's road runner -- as decor and a "cute" beeping horn that complemented the unusual, but popular image.

There weren't a bunch of luxury options for the '68 model, after all, the point was to produce a high- performing muscle car at a less than luxurious price, so carpet wasn't even a standard feature, rubber floor mats and bench seats were. To fulfill the performance standards of production, the coupe body was accompanied by a standard 383 cid power plant complemented by racy heads, manifolds, camshafts and valve springs along with high performance suspensions, tires and brakes. A 426 Hemi was an optional engine upgrade.

The 1968 version of the Plymouth Road Runner was wildly successful, so with release of the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, Plymouth was more generous with its options. Hardtop, pillared coupe and convertible body styles were made available. Bucket seats were an alternative to the original bench-style seat. The '69 Road Runner was still very affordable as well as extremely powerful with its engine options ranging from 383 to 440 cid. A 440 + 6 Hemi-like option with an operational hood scoop made the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner one of the fastest racing cars around. The 426 Hemi V8 was also an option that created a real screamer on the raceways.

The 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, like its 1968 predecessor, was a unique car that was both simple and powerful. The '69 model had more options than the '68, but it remained more affordable to a broader audience than some of its competing muscle cars. Road Runners weren't wimpy sports cars by any means. They were build strong and sturdy which makes them a highly desirable classic muscle car due to their durability despite their age.

About the Author: Jason Tarasi is a muscle car enthusiast who runs the Muscle Car Monster Website, where members can buy and sell muscle cars for free through the site's online classifieds. Muscle Car Ads

Article Source: February 04, 2006
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